The universe is a mathematical construct

Discussion in 'Alternative Theories' started by Write4U, Dec 6, 2020.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    As usual, I agree with you. Clearly Write4U is in the grip of a religious fervour. He believes he has found The Answer.*

    * And it's 42.
    exchemist likes this.
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Therefore God has a brain? (by your own admission)
    Because by your own admission motivated decision making requires a brain.
    Metaphor for what? Brain or no Brain?
    And in this instance the metaphor is....?
    You have to be kidding!
    No, it is absolutely contrary to religion and it's mystical metaphors.
    I understand this narrative very clearly.
    God is the only other metaphysical object which describes the existence of the Universe without the help of an intelligent brain or a quasi-intelligent mathematical essence.
    I can say that your "life" is a metaphor. What does that prove?
    If you can communicate with a language, then that proves that the language is an acceptable mode of addressing the properties that are described or symbolized by that language.
    WOW, you have not seen Tegmark's wall. It's the wall in his office which contains all (but one) of the required numbers and equations necessary to explain the mathematical essence of the entire Universe.

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    "So here is the crux of my argument. If you believe in an external reality independent of humans, then you must also believe in what I call the mathematical universe hypothesis: that our physical reality is a mathematical structure. In other words, we all live in a gigantic mathematical object – one that is more elaborate than a dodecahedron, and probably also more complex than objects with intimidating names like Calabi-Yau manifolds, tensor bundles and Hilbert spaces, which appear in today’s most advanced theories. Everything in our world is purely mathematical – including you." Max Tegmark.

    i'll let Tegmark speak for himself. Tegmark writes:
    "Abstract mathematics is so general that any Theory Of Everything (TOE) which is definable in purely formal terms (independent of vague human terminology) is also a mathematical structure. For instance, a TOE involving a set of different types of entities (denoted by words, say) and relations between them (denoted by additional words) is nothing but what mathematicians call a set-theoretical model, and one can generally find a formal system that it is a model of."
    Discarding any of the mainstream scientific equations on his Wall, such as E = Mc^2 It would falsify the entire theory and most of mainstream science at the same time. All of Tegmark's mathematics have been tested and have been falsified. They are, after all, mainstream scientific theories.......Tegmark does not introduce anything new, he compiles and assembles mainstream science and proposes a comprehensive whole, which can in principle explain everything about the nature of the Universe.
    That is your considered conclusion? Junk all of mainstream science and it's mathematics.
    Hey, we may even end up with a theory of God yet......!

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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Just like the English language is a flawed language, but sufficiently sophisticated for Shakespeare.
    You have touched on the crux .
    IMO, Tegmark's claim is eminently intuitive. To posit that the universe has only some mathematical properties instead of only mathematical properties fractures the entire concept that mathematics is the language of the Universe.
    You did. You said intentional decision making requires a brain.
    He doesn't need to. QM has taken care of that. Tegmark uses mainstream science to make his case!
    Me? Nooooo....I am not aware of any other possibilities, are you?
    Well, seems we are making progress.....

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    Half the worlds'religions are based on that premise.
    The same motivated intelligent brain you stipulated to earlier. What other sort's of brains are there?
    I can visualize a dynamical quasi-intelligent process based on relational mathematical values and functions.
    To me that is most persuasive argument Tegmark makes.
    To assume that only part of the universe is mathematical but not other parts is patently illogical in my mind.
    As I noted before, that is fractured thinking which can never lead to a comprehensive TOE, whereas Tegmark's purely mathematical Universe can in principle lead to a comprehensive understanding of everything in and about the universe.
    What flaws? I see no immediate flaws at all in Tegmark's logic.
    If you see flaws why do you not list them so I may consider them.
    of course, that's how hypotheses are honed on the way to becoming theory.
    There seems to be, as far as the mathematical structure of the universe is discovered rather than invented.
    You might try literature, you do have a flair.....

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    Yes, isn't all of mainstream science falsified? that's all Tegmark uses.
    No, that was David Bohm's observation and prompted him to write "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" . Consider the implied message in that title just for a moment.
    That is just another dramatic incorrect interpretation of Tegmark's hypothesis. He seeks to combine all of theoretical science and combine it in a single mathematical equation that is able to describe everything when appropriately applied.
    Yes, that is exactly what he does.
    Then why do they reject the notion of a Mathematical Universe? That is what I am saying. is that so hard to understand. I find it remarkable simple as Tegmark posits with his wall of 32 fundamental numbers and a handful of equations. He stipulates the hypothesis is NOT complete . Yet the consternation persists because of every other scientist's pet little nook to which they are wedded is threatened by a single overarching theory.

    Tegmark is attempting to fashion a perspective that will allow for a complete understanding of the Universe and how it may be understood in toto.
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Drama...Big Time Drama......

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  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Cosmological principle

    Hence, Mathematics in parts of the Universe, Mathematics throughout all of the Universe.
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member


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    Wave equation
    Not to be confused with Wave function.

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    A pulse traveling through a string with fixed endpoints as modeled by the wave equation.

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    Spherical waves coming from a point source.

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    A solution to the 2D wave equation

    And Pythagoras?

    Wave function

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    Comparison of classical and quantum harmonic oscillator conceptions for a single spinless particle. The two processes differ greatly. The classical process (A–B) is represented as the motion of a particle along a trajectory. The quantum process (C–H) has no such trajectory. Rather, it is represented as a wave; here, the vertical axis shows the real part (blue) and imaginary part (red) of the wave function. Panels (C–F) show four different standing-wave solutions of the Schrödinger equation. Panels (G–H) further show two different wave functions that are solutions of the Schrödinger equation but not standing waves.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2020
  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Four- / other-dimensional[show]

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    An illustration of Desargues' theorem, a result in Euclidean and projective geometry
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    The above is what Tegmark seeks to represent with a single equation that links all separate relational values and equations into a single theory of the Mathematical nature of the Universe.

    It seems an exercise in logic.
  12. Michael Anteski Registered Senior Member

    Everyone feels a need to conform to the scientific-consensus cosmic opinion that the universe is all random happenstance, without any creational input, and without any otherworldly technological maintenance involved. What if the various galaxies and cosmic bodies were not randomly placed, but rather, that the patterns of this are beyond our ken, yet were purposely emplaced, in such ways as to balance unseen, ethereal, cosmic forces, so that parts of the cosmos where entities exist are kept stable? Does the word "UFO" ring a bell?
  13. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    The Universe is not fine-tuned to life on Earth. Life on Earth is fine-tuned to the Universe.

    You better look up the definition of "Necessity and "Sufficiency".

    The properties of the Universe were "sufficient" to make it "necessary" that Life should evolve.

    Instead of UFO, how about: KUP (Known Universal Properties).......

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    No, it's just 32 numbers. I don't know why 32 . Apparently there are 31 + 1 unknown

    Dimensionless constants, cosmology, and other dark matters
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    "Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality."

    "This is not philosophy, it's a mathematical equation."
  16. phyti Registered Senior Member


    Science is still philosophy augmented with a system of measurement, its validation tool.Mathematics is a language of symbols and rules, with a rigid syntax, formed with the intent of consistent interpretation. Like all languages, it has a base of fundamental terms that are circular in definition or accepted on faith. Every equation can be expressed in words of a local language, which express relationships between entities; matter, force, motion, etc.There are intangible things like love, charity, compassion, hope, etc, which are not quantifiable. Thus the validation tool does not work for all aspects of the world.

    The stick figure a child draws, represents a person, but without all the details.Mathematics is also a form of representation. The moon is pictured as a sphere, yet in a magnified view, the perimeter is revealed as a variable surface with mountains, valleys and plains, so where is the circle? The nonsensical dimensionless point is only visible if a blob of material is placed on a surface, with the understanding that the point is somewhere within the blob. The same treatment applies to the 'line' and thus all geometric forms. Mathematics is a good approximation for measurement, but did not come down from a high place on a stone tablet.It is used in science because human thinking is ignorant of the nature of the physical universe and how it functions. A case of 'something is better than nothing'.The universe was present before the appearance of human life, therefore we can conclude that it exists without human opinions or speculations.

    For me, the mystery is why theoretical predictions so closely agree with human experience.
  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Yes, the question affects me exactly the same and we are not the only ones. The question plagued Plato and Socrates and a host of the old great philosophers since the beginning of observation of natural regularities.

    Don't forget we are long past drawing stickmen on the walls of caves.

    This apparent dichotomy between the question if mathematics are a human invention or a human discovery has existed since the very beginning.

    IMO, the answer is "both". Humans discovered the measurable regularities that appear to self-form by natural and evolutionary processes and invented a symbolic language that is able to closely represent these regularities and use them to understand how and why these regularities function and if we can use this knowledge to discover how fundamental these regularities are to the existence of the universe itself.

    Some mathematics are clearly recognizably axiomatic. The concept of "one" and "two' are so ubiquitous throughout nature that every living thing recognizes it and uses it for say triangulation in hunting. Interestingly, many animals are able to "count" and tell the difference between more from less. Mathematics are used by many animals in one way or another.

    This is why scientists are confident in using the invented symbolic "language" of mathematics to explain natural causal regularities. Things in Nature do not need to know human mathematical symbolism as long as humans know what relational values and functions our mathematical symbolisms represent in nature.

    " input --> function --> output" is a natural mathematical functional equation, regardless of the symbolic (algebraic) representation used by humans.

    And that answers one of those metaphysical questions if mathematics applies to the concept of "life" and "love" and 'pain". When you dig deep enough you always come to some mathematical equation that explains the emergence of metaphysical phenomena, such as consciousness and emotions.

    One thing to remember above all other considerations . Everything in the biological world has evolved for one single purpose and that is survival. There is no greater imperative because all other options lead to extinction! (95% of all life is now extinct).

    An excellent example is the Fibonacci Sequence, discovered and mathematically formalized by Fibonacci who observed this regularity and symbolized it in the familiar exponential form we know today.

    It is one of the most amazing regularities found all throughout nature. This is a mathematical regularity that existed long before humans walked the earth. The sequence appears in botany because it offers an evolutionary advantage in gathering and distribution of energy in plants and trees.

    This sequence is a clear proof of a naturally evolved mathematical growth function which existed in nature long before Fibonacci recognized the sequence and symbolized it.

    Daisies and Sunflowers (and a host of other plants) don't know that they grow in accordance to the FS, but they do grow in that precise order. Natural Selection over millions of years "found" the inherent efficiency in that growth arrangement and uses it in many places everywhere because it offers a survival advantage to living organisms.

    This is why most all scientist recognize that there is at least some naturally occurring mathematical aspects to the physical world, based on the naturally occurring constant relational values and processing functions as symbolized in our numbers and equations.

    Tegmark asks the question, that if we can recognize some mathematical aspects to nature, why can we not propose that everything in nature has a mathematical aspect to it?

    The aspects we normally identify as falling outside the scope of mathematics is really an unknown world of "metaphysics" which we are just relatively recently are becoming able to explore, due to our ever improving observational technology and ability to apply mathematics to previously mysterious natural phenomena. There are no known miracles.

    What intrigues me about Tegmark's Mathematical Universe is the potential that mathematics may be able to explain everything and we might be able to fashion a mathematical TOE of the universe, whereas we have some seemingly unsurmountable obstacles in the current mainstream science which seems otherwise functional but does present some contradictions which are just as, if not more, problematic than Tegmark's hypothesis of "everything is mathematical in essence".

    Any other metaphysical interpretation leads inevitably to an unanswerable (unfalsifiable) question and that just seems futile to me.

    Nothing came down from a high place on a stone tablet. That metaphor is so much more confusing than the numbers 1 to 10 used to identify the mathematical order of the moral commandments as Moses understood them and inscribed them on the stone tablet. There was no lightning in some language that came down from the heavens and inscribed the commandments. There are no and never have been miracles.

    Everything has always been natural.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  18. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

    Whether or not the universe is a construct is down to whether or not it's a construct that is self-assembling.

    Mathematics might exist for humans only because the universe is mathematical, a self-assembling universe must have some kind of algorithm behind it.

    After all, humans developed mathematics initially to explain celestial objects, phases of the moon and so on. How this was done independently of lunar and planetary etc, motions, is a bit hard to explain I think.

    Or if humans just have brains that can handle the math that's apparently 'at work' up there, then that might be why we developed all that notation.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  19. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    It is important to realise that Tegmark's "mathematical universe" hypothesis is not a scientific theory, as such, but rather a metaphysical philosophical position. His assumption is that mathematics will be used to find a "theory of everything" in Physics, but as far as I can tell his ideas propose no particular research programme that is likely to advance us towards that goal any faster than everyday physics research is taking us in any case.

    This is why Tegmark's ideas, in the end, are just a moderately-interesting philosophical excursion, as opposed to anything that is likely to help the progress of science in any direct sense.
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I believe that self-assembly is a proven fact.

    Moreover this self-assembling is in accordance to some, metaphysical (mathematical) organizing principle, rather than a physical principle, which is an inherently variable value for each physical object.


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    Self-assembly of lipids (a), proteins (b), and (c) SDS-cyclodextrin complexes. SDS is a surfactant with a hydrocarbon tail (yellow) and a SO4 head (blue and red), while cyclodextrin is a saccharide ring (green C and red O atoms).

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    Transmission electron microscopy image of an iron oxide nanoparticle. Regularly arranged dots within the dashed border are columns of Fe atoms. Left inset is the corresponding electron diffraction pattern. Scale bar: 10 nm.[1]

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    Iron oxide nanoparticles can be dispersed in an organic solvent (toluene). Upon its evaporation, they may self-assemble (left and right panels) into micron-sized mesocrystals (center) or multilayers (right). Each dot in the left image is a traditional "atomic" crystal shown in the image above. Scale bars: 100 nm (left), 25 μm (center), 50 nm (right).[1]

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    STM image of self-assembled Br4-pyrene molecules on Au(111) surface (top) and its model (bottom; pink spheres are Br atoms).[2]

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    AFM imaging of self-assembly of 2-aminoterephthalic acid molecules on (104)-oriented calcite.[3]
    Self-assembly can be classified as either static or dynamic. In static self-assembly, the ordered state forms as a system approaches equilibrium, reducing its free energy. However, in dynamic self-assembly, patterns of pre-existing components organized by specific local interactions are not commonly described as "self-assembled" by scientists in the associated disciplines. These structures are better described as "self-organized", although these terms are often used interchangeably.

    Scientific law

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    Scientific theories explain why something happens, whereas scientific law describes what happens.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I believe that David Bohm had an important perspective. In his "Wholeness and the Implicate Order" he observes that current mainstream science has become so fractured that no comprehensive whole can be "visualized" and that in order to understand the universe we must posit a "wholeness" with an "implicate" (enfolded) order and an "explicate" (unfolded) order.

    It seems to me that this implicate enfolded order is of a mathematical nature and the explicate unfolded order is of a physical nature.
    And this seems to agree with Tegmark's position that objects in reality are the physical expressions of mathematical patterns with different values.

    Wholeness and the Implicate Order
    As he wrote:
    "In the enfolded [or implicate] order, space and time are no longer the dominant factors determining the relationships of dependence or independence of different elements. Rather, an entirely different sort of basic connection of elements is possible, from which our ordinary notions of space and time, along with those of separately existent material particles, are abstracted as forms derived from the deeper order. These ordinary notions in fact appear in what is called the "explicate" or "unfolded" order, which is a special and distinguished form contained within the general totality of all the implicate orders" (Bohm 1980, p. xv).

    Symmetry (from Greek συμμετρία symmetria "agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement")[1]


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    I like that, it's beautiful....I don't like that! It leaves me dissatisfied.

    If this is of scientific importance I leave to the better minds. As an ex-bookkeeper and musician it satisfies my desire for a balanced symmetry......

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    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I disagree.
  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What part do you disagree with?

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